I know there’s a lot going on right now. We’re digesting Cyril’s most recent speech, and questioning the global banana bread syndicate which seems to have taken over. But after asking my boyfriend what he’s learned about me during lockdown recently, I reached out to some friends to ask them the same. Why? Because I love love, and also because I think it’s important to take stock of our relationships every once in a while. Being with our partners during lockdown is like a crash course on how best to love one another, after all.
According to my boyfriend, he was surprised by how serious I am at work – the poor guy is subjected to my Google Hangout meeting ramblings day in and day out. ‘I’m used to the fun you, not the serious you,’ he said. Also, apparently I talk to myself a lot. When asked if he finds it endearing, he answered, ‘Um.. more concerning than endearing?’ Cute. But that’s a conversation for another day – likely between me and my therapist. Let’s move on to the good stuff!
Here’s what 5 South Africans have learned about their partners during lockdown.
1 He leaves a trail of crumbs wherever he goes, which I already knew and loved him anyway.
‘I’ve been with him for 2.5 years and have discovered….well to be completely frank, I have discovered nothing new. He’s still a mildly good cook, a super-manoeuvrer vacuumer – he leaves no piece of dust unturned, and he is excellent at taking out the garbage. He loves to love me, with tenacious kisses and hugs. Max prefers we train together. He prefers we do everything together.
‘I couldn’t have chosen a better place to celebrate my honeymoon, at home.’
Isolation 2020, has brought us closer; if that’s even a thing. I couldn’t have chosen a better place to celebrate my honeymoon, at home, on the lonely streets of Hampstead, with my husband. I sit by his side on our fluffy grey couch watching the ambulances scurry past our window, in gratitude and honour as we face the storm ahead of us, wishing for more years of happiness and love. Oh, another thing is that he loves to know what I’m doing. Like. All. The. Time.’ – Courtney, 28
2 The plants would die if I wasn’t around
‘I’ve been with him for almost 2 years and discovered that:
- He smokes more than he ever led on.
- He was no gamer before lockdown but seems to love PS4 now.
- He’s better at doing the dishes than I am.
- The plants would die if I wasn’t around.
- He will always make me a cup of tea when I’m feeling stressed.’
– Lara, 26
3 I’ve been with him for 5 years and married for one month exactly
‘Not many newlyweds get a five-week lockdown as their honeymoon. I saw a post that spoke about how this lockdown must be ageing new married couples in dog years, but I can’t say we’ve been through anything that has made this lockdown anything other than a love and food fest. I’ve discovered that he has incredible patience for me and my 17 different personalities that come through on any given day.
‘We got married in our lounge in front of our cats.’
He has the softest heart and understands how to turn my tears into giggles again. He works from home always, not just during lockdown, and I’ve always taken for granted how much discipline he has to stay focused at home – I’ve learnt that working from home is fucking hard and I respect him so much for doing that every day.
I’ve also learnt that we are our most content when we’re on our couch holding hands in content silence. We got married in our lounge in front of our cats and two of our closest friends that came from overseas for the ceremony one week before the lockdown.
We were meant to go to Austria for a skiing honeymoon after our big day that we counted down for over a year, the hardest days of lockdown were the days that I knew that I should’ve had tired legs from skiing all day and a belly full of apfelstrüdel but we made a promise to each other to still do the skiing adventure together when the world isn’t in a chaos state.
The promise came after a particularly bad bout of tears and he reminded me that we’ll always have each other, the fun can come when it’s safe. And now we still have a full wedding and a freaking skiing honeymoon to look forward to so there’s still some good to come.’ – Aimee, 26
4 He has three different laughs
‘I’ve been with Nick for 3.5 years and have discovered that exercise affects his mood dramatically. Groceries make him really excited and cooking is his meditation. He has three different laughs.
He reads random articles online for fun and that’s where he gets his random facts. Coffee at 6:30am isn’t just a work routine, it’s part of his private time. Everything else is the same, I’ve always loved his hair long and scruffy so he’s just getting prettier by the day.’ – Antoinette, 26
5 Her need for predictable patterns without it happening as predicted
‘One of the biggest things I learnt about Thuli is her need for predictable patterns, without things happening as predicted. I have been with her for over 8 years now and for the first time, I actually know that she loves to know everything that will happen, how it will happen and when. But then she doesn’t want it to happen that way because she feels it’s predictable and boring.
‘She is a creature of habit but does not wish to embrace habit as it comes.’
A few great examples of this are small things like; she wants us to be able to have sex all the time but the sex does not necessarily mean sex, it just means forms of intimacy at different times and different days. Some days it is happy chilled relaxed lovemaking, other days it’s rough and crazy and then some days it’s just a cuddle. She is a creature of habit but does not wish to embrace habit as it comes. I think these are things I couldn’t have learnt without the long stay together day in and out.’ – Kgosi, 30
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